Protozoa, nematodes and N-mineralization across a prescribed soil textural gradient

Regin M. Rønn, Bryan S. Griffiths, Iain M. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The increase in protozoan and nematode populations following addition of glucose or barley leaf material to five different mixtures of a sandy loam and a silty clay loam was investigated in 2 experiments. Prescribed soil textures (varying in clay content from 15.6% to 28.6%) were incubated at a matric potential of-10 kPa at 15 °C, and the number of protozoa and nematodes and the amount of inorganic nitrogen were estimated after 0, 2 and 5 weeks. In the first experiment, the effect of amendment with glucose was compared with amendment with barley leaves. Numbers of protozoa increased in soil mixtures amended with both glucose and barley leaves, but nematodes only increased in the treatment with barley leaves. There was a large positive effect of the amount of fine-textured soil on the number of protozoa, whereas the nematodes were not affected by soil texture. In the second experiment, the effect of nematodes on protozoa and nitrogen mineralization was examined. Soil mixtures prepared with sterilised soil were amended with barley leaves and either (1) a soil suspension filtered through a 5 μm mesh to remove nematodes, or (2) a filtered soil suspension and a mixture of nematodes extracted from soil. The nematodes that multiplied in the soil mixtures were almost exclusively bacterial-feeding rhabditids. The nematodes had a significantly positive effect on the number of protozoa but an insignificant effect on N-mineralization. Both protozoa and nematodes were affected positively by the proportion of the fine-textured soil in the soil mixtures, but the positive effect on protozoa was larger than the effect on nematodes.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481-495
Number of pages15
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Generated from Scopus record by KAUST IRTS on 2023-02-15

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Soil Science


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